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Effects of Birth Ball Exercises on Labor Pain and Childbirth Satisfaction.
Tian, Shu-Hui; Kao, Chien-Huei; Lin, Kuan-Chia; Chang, Ching-Yi; Gau, Meei-Ling
Background: Dissatisfaction with childbirth experience negatively affects self-esteem and maternal role development in new mothers. Purpose: This study examines the effectiveness of a birth ball exercise program during childbirth. Childbirth satisfaction and childbirth pain were measured. The mediating effect of childbirth pain on the relationship between the birth ball exercise program and childbirth satisfaction was also examined. Methods: This study was conducted in birth units at one regional hospital and one medical center. In a randomised controlled trial, 167 expectant mothers were recruited and allocated by block randomization into the two arms of the study, with 42 intervention and 32 control group partipants completing the trial. The birth ball exercise program consisted of a booklet and a DVD, with periodic follow-ups during prenatal checks. All members of the experimental group were asked to practice the exercises and positions at home for at least twenty minutes three times a week for a period of 6-8 weeks. Each woman in the experimental group was given a birth ball for use during labour and encouraged every hour to choose the most comfortable positions, movements, and exercises. Both experimental and control groups received standard nursing care from hospital staff nurses in all aspects of pregnancy and childbirth. The questionnaire used collected data using a demographic and obstetrics information datasheet, the Visual Analog Pain Scale (VAPS), and Chinese version of the Mackey Childbirth Satisfaction Rating Scale. Results: Our study revealed that birth ball exercises provided statistically significant improvements in childbirth satisfaction and pain. Pain had a 48.97% mediating effect on relationships between birth ball exercises and childbirth satisfaction. Conclusions/Implications for Practice: Clinical implementation of the birth ball exercise program could be an effective adjunctive tool to improve childbirth satisfaction and reduce pain among women in labour. Health professionals can educate women and their partners prenatally about how to use birth ball exercise to cope with childbirth in order to facilitate more positive feelings about the childbirth experience.
Journal of Nursing & Healthcare Research, 2013, Vol 9, Issue 1, p13
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